Fri, 05 Dec 2003

Veteran soldiers vs police in Makassar

MAKASSAR, South Sulawesi: Dozens of veteran soldiers and their families, whose their houses in Panakkukang area here were destroyed in May this year to allow the construction of a building office, clashed with police personnel on Thursday, leaving one person slightly injured.

The clash began at 11 a.m, when dozens of veteran soldiers and their families, who now lived on makeshift shelters in the area, staged protest over the construction of a building on their previous residences.

The protesters tried to stop workers of developer PT Setia Pandan Jaya from starting the construction of the building, but the police insisted that they had to leave the area.

The protesters and the police pushed each other, and a brawl almost happened. The protesters left the area, after Andi Aidin, one of the protesters, was beaten by a police personnel, by using baton stick, on his temple.

The 49 families of the veterans were evicted in May from Panakkukang area, which made them homeless. They insisted to stay in the area, by making makeshift shelters.

Since then, they have been evicted several times by city administration, but they always came back to build other makeshift shelters. -- JP